2019 National Tertiary Committee Training
We give thanks to God that the National Tertiary Committee Training carried out smoothly at the Petaling Jaya church from 12th to 13th October 2019. It was indeed a fruitful training for every committee as everyone managed to acquire a deeper understanding of the commissions entrusted by God.
In the first session, Pr. Nahum Lim exhorted us to beseech for the power of God in order to strengthen our faith as we forge ahead in divine works and spiritual battles. Next, he enlightened us on the challenges we will face while we participate in divine works. Therefore, we all the more should seek God’s help so that we can perform our works heartily as to the Lord and not to men (Colossians 3:23). Pr. Nahum soberly reminded us to be in the pursuit of fulfilling the will of God and not of men. At the same time, we also need to seek for our respective gifts in respective divine works and view everything from the perspective of faith in order to complement one another and work for the Lord in unity.
The second session started off with an introduction by Bro Sze Chuan. In this session, we learnt about the story of David and Goliath. David defeated Goliath albeit he has no experiences or capabilities in a battlefield. Thus, we should also seek guidance from God to receive strength so as to be courageous like David. As mentioned in 1 Timothy 4:12, “let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity.” This brought forth the understanding of the importance of the entrustment upon each individual and the fulfilment of the needs of the church.
Next was a sharing by Bro Isaac. Tan. In this session, he introduced the specific roles and responsibilities within the tertiary committee. We learnt about the roles of the leaders, the persons-in-charge for programs, activities and care-groups. From these departmental trainings, all tertiary committees learnt about the exact method to pursue after improvements in their respective departments. As we are the servants of God, we ought to be responsible and vigilant. In addition, we also learnt about some basic techniques for leading the future tertiary youths.
On the second day, we had practical trainings for all departments. Several practical sessions were provided to help everyone understand tasks from different perspectives. Other than that, we also learnt about important matters and elements such as being aware of the causes of faith deterioration in tertiary youths and the confliction of societal issues with the truth. Hence, we are able to aid the growth of faith of the tertiary youths.
The last session was Q&A and we submitted questions to the preacher. Thank God that we have Pr. Nahum to answer our questions with words from the bible. He sincerely advised us to always pray for the infilling of the Holy Spirit so that we can work with a heart of servitude, to have a deeper understanding on the words of God and can be a stronger pillar to the church.
Thank God for His guidance in this training. May God continue to guide our tertiary youths in their respective local churches and divine works. May we continue to encourage one another with the love of God and work in one accord. May God also guide His servants to be faithful and bear fruits.
May all glory be given to the Name of the Lord. Amen.
2019 Youth Spiritual Meeting
Thank God that the biannual Youth Spiritual Meeting was held smoothly from 13/7- 14/7. To the participants of the YSM in 2017, two years had seemed like a long wait until the next YSM, but time flies and we, even as youths, are again reminded of how short our life on earth is. Despite the brevity of the event, over 300 participants from all over the country nevertheless congregated at Petaling Jaya church to attend this important spiritual convocation. It was indeed heartening to see the awareness of the youths towards their commission at this age and responding to the call of the church, especially those from the north and south who had to travel for long hours and distances to make it on time for the spiritual convocation.
Nonetheless, their efforts were not in vain as their time was spent fruitfully through the sharing of hymns by the choir groups of the various churches, and that of the participants in the recent International Youth Fellowship (IYF), who shared about the warm hospitality of our brethren in South Korea and the spiritual teachings they had gleaned from their trip. More importantly, the youths were greatly nourished by God’s word as we finally could gain a deeper understanding of books in the Old Testament that have long been eschewed due to their apparent obscurity and tediousness.
When Pr Nehemiah enlightened us on the deeper significance behind the taking of census before going for war, this became all the more relevant to the youths as we reconsidered the reason why they had gathered for this spiritual convocation. Beyond fellowship, the youths realised the greater importance of seeking to understand and address the needs and problems in the respective churches so that all may be strengthened as we forge ahead in our spiritual battle. By delving into minor characters who had hitherto been neglected, Pr Nehemiah also covered the process of the formation of God’s army as well as the character prerequisites of the mighty men of God, such as Amasai who sacrificed worldly status and riches to support David, who was God’s anointed. This in turn also prompted the youths to consider if we too have this spiritual foresight and wisdom to forego our own worldly ambition and material comfort in order to build up God’s kingdom, albeit trivial when we consider how our temporal lives can actually have a part in His eternity.
In line with this train of thought, Pr Ezekiel also exhorted us to calibrate the faith that was handed down to us by our predecessors due to the massive changes in our economic circumstances. Hence, while we should keep the simplicity of their faith in God, let us not think of God’s blessings only in terms of the material lest we fall and become a stumbling block to others. As youths, we often yearn to return to moments when we feel the strength in numbers and do nothing apart from praying, singing hymns and listening to God’s word, away from the troubles of this world. Yet Pr Ezekiel soberly reminded us that the church is not an excuse for our escapism. Instead, bearing in mind that we are the mighty men of God, we should forge ahead and brave through the challenges in our lives, with the knowledge that the Lord our God is with us wherever we go. Henceforth, may God continue to strengthen us so that we can shine for Him even in our ordinary stations in life – to show how we are in this world but not of this world – and to preach the good news of truth and love to all.
2019 National Tertiary Student Camp
The 2019 National Tertiary Student Camp was successfully conducted on the 22nd to 23rd of June by the guidance of God at Olive Garden, Port Dickson. A total of 79 participants which include several steering committees and preacher attended the camp. The sole speaker of the camp was Pr Nahum Lim who spoke on the topic – The rise and fall of Gideon.
A survey in the recent history of the camp allows one to find several abnormal practices undertaken for this camp – the departure of the usage of a theme in favour of a character study or analysis as an effort to revamp the seemingly repetitive themes along the years; the addition of an extra Q&A session which was a decision based on the insufficiency of time in the previous camp; the return of groupings for duty roster that were not based on the location of church in order to promote interaction amongst the tertiary youths from different churches.
Since the first day of the camp was on the Sabbath, 5 lessons on the topic were conducted during the day while a hymnal sharing session and fellowship session took place after dusk had fallen. From the lessons, the students learnt concerning Gideon’s inherent qualities such as his humility as evident in his response to the angel of God at his calling to be Israel’s physical deliverer and also his intelligence when he chose to destroy the altar of Baal at night, thereby reducing any possible opposition from the people who have lost their way in the worshipping of the deity of fertility due to their desperate circumstances as seen in Judges 6:3-5. Moreover, the weaknesses of the hero which can be seen in his lack of faith despite obtaining several first-hand proof and assurance from God in his mission were also discussed. This incident reflects on the graciousness of God in accommodating our doubtfulness when He desires to work with us, given that faith is the key to the great works of God as we can see in Jesus’ teachings in the Gospels. Lastly, the final acts of Gideon in anger towards the people who refused to provide aid during his pursuit of the enemy, as well as the pride and hypocrisy seen in the making of the golden ephod and the naming of one of his son as Abimelech (which means “my father is king”).
For the hymnal session, sister Fu Mei taught a medley of 3 hymns from the Hymns of Praise and shared about how the progression of these hymns reflects the journey of faith. Day 1 concluded with a rather peculiar Fellowship session in the form of a Debate session. Nevertheless, similar to the two Q&A sessions on the following day which had received a plethora of questions as forecasted, the higher level and standards of the debates and questions relative to the past were the good points.
The smooth completion of such a camp will be impossible without the guidance of God and the efforts from various parties, particularly the host church, Port Dickson in providing the venue and accommodation; the preacher and the cooks who prepared sumptuous spiritual food and physical food respectively; the organizers and participants for the time spent in this camp. May God continue to remember these works and continue to bless and guide the tertiary youths.
Fourth Year Theological Training Course
The Fourth Year Theological training Course was held at Olive Garden in Port Dickson from 2 to 11 January. In total, there were 16 students, eight coordinators and two speakers. The purpose of this training course was to strengthen the youths’ biblical knowledge, to solidify the youths’ relationship and to prepare the secondary school graduates for college life. The content of this training course included an introduction to the historical books of the Old Testament, exegesis and some topics related to campus life.
History lessons are dull and boring for some people, but history has a very important influence on us. The students in this training course received many explicit charts so that they could see at a glance the historical timeline of the Israelites and the structure of the Old Testament’s historical books. For this reason, many students found those learning materials useful. In this training course, students were arranged to take turns to deliver a sermon. In order to prepare for the sermon, it was necessary for them to have an in-depth study of the Bible. At first, they found it difficult and were unfamiliar with it. Anyway, they eventually mastered the skill and also understood the essential position of the Bible verses in preparing for the sermon outline.
It so happened that the Olive Garden Training Centre was undergoing renovation and upgrading of facilities. As a result, the meal preparations were slightly affected. However, due to the assistance of the local members, the problem was solved. The students were also involved in cleaning up the surroundings and housekeeping. Many students also suggested extending the duration of this training course!